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Saturday, April 18, 2009

English Pronunciation - Silent Syllables

Hi, this is Fred. My name's Fred, spelled F-R-E-D. I'm an American teaching English in Vietnam.

Today I have a pronunciation lesson for you. I wanted to talk about silent syllables.

Syllables? You know what syllables are?

It's very important, when you're learning English, to listen for and think about how many syllables does a word have.

For example: ham-bur-ger. This word, hamburger- ham-bur-ger- has three syllables.

But sometimes, one syllable is taken out. There's one syllable that's silent. And I have some examples of this.

One example is the word "interesting." If something is interesting then you want to know about it, it's exciting.

This word, when you look at it written, it's in-ter-est-ing. So writing, it has four syllables: in-ter-est-ing. But speaking, it has only three syllables, you take one out. Take out this one, here. When people say this word, they say it with only three syllables: "intresting".

Spelling: "int-er-est-ing", but speaking: "intresting."

This word, interesting, sometimes people will say it with four syllables. This one, I think, would be okay both ways. Like if somebody wanted to emphasize this word, maybe they would say, "Hmm, very int-er-est-ing." It's also okay, four syllables: int-er-est-ing. But three syllables, more normal in fast speech, normal speech: "intresting." That's very "intresting."

Another one is a very common word: restaurant. You know the word "restaurant"? You go to a restaurant to eat food when you want to eat out.

This one, also, res-tau-rant. Spelling, writing, it's res-tau-rant- it has three. But when you say this word: "restrant" only two. Take one out. One silent syllable. People would never say "res-tau-rant." "Restrant" okay.

And another one is this word, here: comfortable. This one looks like com-for-ta-ble. Writing: four syllables, but speaking: three syllables. "Comfterble."

It's very "comfterble", it feels good. It's not too big, like if I'm talking about clothes. My shirt is very "comfterble." It's not too big, not too small. It's very cool, it feels good. It's "comfterble." Okay?

And, how about one more? You know this word? "Chocolate."

This one, writing: "choc-o-late." Looks like three, but speaking, only two: "choclate." Do you like "choclate"? I like "choclate".

Okay, so I hope that's useful for you. That's four examples of words with silent syllables.

Shall we say them again?

First one: interesting. "Very interesting!" This one, sometimes also "in-ter-est-ing", "intresting"- both okay.

Next one: restaurant. Restaurant. "Let's go to the restaurant." Okay? I like eating in restaurants, do you?

And another one: comfortable. "This shirt is very comfortable." Silk shirt made in Vietnam- comfortable and cheap as well.

And the last one: chocolate. "Do you like chocolate?" I like chocolate.

Okay? I hope that's helpful for you. It's a little pronunciation lesson.

Come by my website! It's called Learn English With Fred dot Blogspot dot com. And let's study English together, okay?

I can help you with your pronunciation, grammar, conversation... anything you need to work on.

Come by and see some details there. Hope to see you soon, okay? Thanks. Bye-bye. Have a nice day.
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